Everyone wants to have a clear vision. The basic rule for a clear vision is that the eye's cornea and lens must refract the light rays properly. This basic rule allows all images to be focused on the retina. If not, the images will be seen blurry. This blurriness has its own name: Refractive error. The reason for refractive errors is the difference between the shape of the cornea and the length of the eye. The main types of refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (loss of near vision with age), and astigmatism.
LASIK eye surgery, as an outpatient surgical procedure, uses an excimer laser to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue for correcting the refractive errors. The cornea takes a new shape after the operation, and light rays begin to be focused properly on the retina. So, the refractive errors as well as the need for glasses and contact lenses disappear by -usually- a single twenty-minutes operation.
LASIK is promoted to be the best of all types of eye surgery, with PRK seemingly being obsolete. However, such wonderful properties cause many people to question many facts about the LASIK procedure. Is LASIK safe? What are the LASIK eye surgery risks? Finally, how much does LASIK cost? Is it expensive? We understand that these questions are because of both concern and interest of future patients of the LASIK procedure.
For this reason, we will try to answer these and other questions surrounding the LASIK eye surgery procedure in this short article.
What Does Laser Eye Surgery Do – How It Works?
LASIK eye surgery procedure’s basic premise is to correct the shape of one’s cornea. The cornea is responsible for bending the light entering the eye and therefore – for the shape and quality of the view we receive. The laser used in the LASIK procedure corrects the refractive errors occurred on the eye(s) and in the majority of cases allows for light to travel undisturbed.
During LASIK surgery, the eye surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea by using either a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser. The surgeon folds back the flap, then removes some corneal tissue underneath by the help of an excimer (an ultraviolet) laser. After that, the created flap is laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Painful?
The LASIK procedure is not painful. It requires only local anesthesia in the form of drops – after all, in LASIK eye surgery a laser is utilized to create precise changes in the cornea.
Hence, there is no need to be worried – your LASIK eye surgery shall pass quickly and without you feeling a thing.
How Long Does a LASIK Eye Surgery Last?
One of the advantages of LASIK eye surgery is a short time – the whole procedure for both eyes may take as little as 20 minutes. In comparison to traditional surgeries, the timing of the LASIK procedure is really astonishing, remembering that other procedures may take hours. Here, after 20 minutes you are ready to go home, though we recommend that your friend or relative drives you there.
It may be necessary to mention here about the permanency of LASIK operation. Actually, a patient’s myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) may progress. Vision ability of your eyes can change naturally as you age, but they never go back to being as bad as they were before your LASIK surgery. If your vision changes significantly over time or if your LASIK surgery is unsatisfactory, LASIK enhancement sometimes needs to be performed as a LASIK follow-up procedure.
Does Laser Eye Surgery Work?
As we have mentioned, most of the patient gain a 20/20 vision after the LASIK eye surgery procedure. However, to avoid doubts born of generalizations, let’s talk with numbers. According to a study, a total of 98.5% of patients was satisfied with their surgery, reporting that their main goal for surgery was achieved.
What Are the LASIK Eye Surgery Risks?
While LASIK eye surgery procedure is generally a safe one, in rare cases it may lead to problems. Many patients during the LASIK eye surgery recovery experience dry eye effect or halos. Actually, they are not accepted as side effects or risks but a normal part of recovery time. Still, among LASIK eye surgery risks belong to the prolongation of such effects for extended periods, even months or years. To other LASIK eye surgery risks belong overcorrection, when your doctor removes too much of cornea and causes new problems with your eyes, which can only be corrected with glasses or lenses. Finally, in very rare cases, LASIK procedure may lead to blindness. However, please remember that LASIK eye surgery success rate is no less than 96%, so LASIK eye surgery risks and complications appear in the small minority of cases and they may be caused by the incompetence of doctors rather than the LASIK procedure itself.
How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?
The LASIK cost may vary in many ways. First of all, it depends on the fame of the LASIK eye center and the experience of a particular specialist. Later on, the average cost of LASIK eye surgery may depend on the city you live in – smaller cities, smaller prices, that’s the rule in almost all fields of elective medicine.
LASIK surgery price is, finally, affected heavily by the country you have it in. For example, the average cost of LASIK eye surgery for both eyes in the USA is supposed to be between €2500-€4000, while the average cost of LASIK in Turkey is thought to be as low as €1500-€2000. Therefore, you save something between €1000-€2000. In the same time, health tourism destinations such as Turkey, India, Poland, and Spain are known to have a quality of LASIK procedure comparable to LASIK eye centers in the West. As seen in reviews on the Internet, even adding the transportation and accommodation costs, the laser eye surgery price in those countries will be lower than the one back home.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.